Madagascar, the fourth largest island in the world, contains some of the planet’s most threatened ecosystems. Approximately 80% of Madagascar’s plants and animals occur nowhere else in the world. Unfortunately, more than 90% of Madagascar’s original forest cover has been lost since people migrated to the island a few thousand years ago.
In 2005, the nonprofit organization Azafady, now called SEED Madagascar, successfully completed a Seacology funded-project. So the community could monitor a rare littoral forest, they built tree nurseries, and camps for workers and volunteers.
The organization’s main environmental program, called Project Voly Hazo (“planting trees”), involves planting two critically endangered endemic palm species (Dypsis saintelucei and Beccariophoenix madagascariensis). With Seacology’s support, the organization will grow plants in nurseries and plant them in the 1,038-acre S17 coastal forest fragment. The group will also conduct environmental education programs related to the project in several local schools. To facilitate long-term monitoring, they also plan to build a permanent research station, kitchen, and guardhouse. The community requested these facilities during a public consultation when designating the protected areas.